CanCell PIs Harald Stenmark and Tor Erik Rusten awarded prestigious project grants from Norwegian Cancer Society

It is with humble gratitude and great joy we may announce that the Norwegian Cancer Society, Kreftforeningen, has granted project funding to Harald Stenmark and Tor Erik Rusten through their research programme 'Open Call 2020'. In the project description, it is stated that it funds ground-breaking projects in all fields of cancer research within the five categories basic research, translational research, clinical research, epidemiological research and research based on health and social science. This year 130 million NOK is granted to 20 different promising projects in Norway.

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Ingrid Stenstadvold Ross, General Secretary of the Norwegian Cancer Association announced the recipients of the Open Call 2020, flanked by the two CanCell PIs Tor Erik Rusten (left) and Harald Stenmark.

Photo: Jorun Valle Nilsen, Amalie Huth Hovland

The Norwegian Cancer Society, is one of the largest user and interest organization in Norway with over 110 000 members. Their goal is that less people should get cancer and more of those who get it should survive. They also work to improve the life quality of both those who get cancer and their relatives and run several local support groups. Kreftforeningen has a vision of “A life without cancer” and works hard to support forward-oriented cancer research in Norway. A work which they can do through their many members, volunteers and thousands of donors which donates money to the association.


Project: Exploring novel mechanisms to inhibit cancer

Harald Stenmark which is CanCell's own director has received a research grant of 7,7 MNOK to his research project “Novel mechanism to inhibit cancer”. All cells of the body are dependent on being able to communicate with other cells in order to survive, grow and divide. This is also the case for cancer cells. Intrinsically in our bodies there are both factors that mitigate cancer spreading and factors which can contribute to it when they are unregulated. Importantly the same factors are factors which we need in order to survive. Growth factors are crucial for regulation of cell growth and cell division, they are also used by cells to send messages to each other. When they are unregulated, they can contribute to cancer by excessively activating growth or cell division.  One way of regulating excessive activation by growth factor is to target these factors for endosomal phagy. In short that means that these factors are taken up into endosomes and degraded there before they manage to over-activate cell division. Stenmark and his research group are diving into the interplay between growth factors and endosomal phagy in cancer. Stenmark is a driving force in cancer research and has received research funding from the Norwegian cancer society many times before. We send you many congratulations and wish you a time filled with great achievements and discoveries.

Project: Starving a tumor

Tor Erik Rusten which leads the Tumor-Host biology lab have received a research funding of 6,7 MNOK for his research project “Starving a cancer tumor”. Like other cells, cancer cells are dependent of nutrients and to “eat” in order to survive. They do this by transporting the nutrients into transport channels and the metabolism of cancer is different from that of normal cells. Tor Erik and his research group seeks to unravel which of the genes that codes for transport channels that are vital for the cancer cells. And hope to be able to starve out the tumors by deleting these genes one by one in the cancer cells. The goal is to starve only the tumor and not the normal cells.  It is a project based on accumulating empirical knowledge with a goal of finding new cancer treatments by combining medicines and tailored diets. This is not the first time Rusten has received a research grant from the Norwegian cancer association society. We congratulate him and wish him a time filled with great discoveries and fruitful experiments.


Published Nov. 10, 2020 6:07 PM - Last modified Nov. 10, 2020 6:07 PM